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Kids View of the World
What will the next generation know?

 8:20 am on May 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

I often think about what we grew up with (we meaning 50+ somethings) vs. our parents, grandparents, kids and grandkids.

Like we grew up where everyone (mostly) had electricity, B&W TVs, AM radios and rotary phones, and a car.

Mom on the other hand lived on a farm and had a single light bulb powered by a windmill in the yard, did homework using cables and kerosene lamps, and probably had an AM radio. I kind of remembering her telling me that had to use a neighbors phone which was over a mile away. They still used a horse and buggy and got a car much later.

Grandma, if she was lucky maybe had lights and a rotary phone as a kid if she lived in the city and definitely had a horse and buggy.

My kid on the other hand has never not known a world without color TVs, computers, modems, the internet, cars, ATMs. portable FM radios and tape players, video games, microwaves, cell phones, etc.

My grandkids have never known a world without big flat screen TVs, iPods, iPads, smartphones, PS3, Skype for talking to granny and gramps, etc.

The next generation will always know stuff like Google Glass (smart phones? you mean COMPUTERS?), Self-driving cars, wearable computing devices or implanted cybernetics, 3D printers possibly actual replicators, and most likely a bunch of cool virtual reality, 3D and holographic stuff we're barely starting to get off the drawing board let alone serious products.

But I'll hazard a guess I know something most of the current and future generations will NEVER see...

... an OS command line prompt :)



 6:29 pm on May 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

Today's society would continue functioning if not one person, anywhere, know how to shoe a horse.

If not one person anywhere knew how to write logically and grammatically, then nobody would be able to write code-- which adheres to far stricter rules than any natural language-- and society would grind to a screeching halt.


 6:43 pm on May 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

But you don't program with a pen or pencil (anymore) you use a keyboard so handwriting has ironically been a skill being written off :)

Those familiar with Fahrenheit 451 can add pens, pencils and paper to the lost with books.


 9:32 pm on May 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

I don't?


I also use pencil and paper to figure out what numbers I need to feed into the calculator to arrive at results calling for logarithms (as, for example, when I'm working out how much aquarium water to change in order to achieve the desired rate of turnover). This works best if you can read your own writing.

I also write out my own shopping lists as opposed to :: ahem :: cough-cough :: calling home to ask what we're out of. Granted, the cats are not likely to give me reliable information. But it's the principle of the thing. So long as it's not much more complicated than &#x144F; I may even be able to read it when I get there.


 10:32 pm on May 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

And what would they/you all do when all the power is off and never to return?

Knowing how to shoe a horse might then be important.I guess I won't be typing this !


 1:13 am on May 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

Not half so important as knowing where to find a horse in the first place :)


 12:07 am on May 21, 2013 (gmt 0)


made me laugh !


 7:58 pm on May 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

What I've been thinking a lot about lately that is tangential to this is what are we missing in our vision of the future?

I've been reading a bunch of Asimov sci fi from around 1950-1952. Keep in mind that Asimov was an actual scientist (professor of biochem) and thought constantly about science and the future and he utterly missed two things

- gender roles. Asmov's women are basically 1950s women.

- digitization. I don't even know where to begin, but in one novel ships can jump through hyperspace and instantly traverse thousands of light years. BUT to calculate a jump, the pilot pulls out a printed, bound ephemeris and a slide rule and calculates the jump coordinates.

In other words, writing at a time when the nuclear power industry was promising "energy too cheap to meter", it was easier for Asimov to imagine space ships with adequate power to bend space and create gravity wrinkles that would allow them to jump through space, but he couldn't imagine a device that would know where the stars were and how to use that information to navigate.

It makes me wonder what are we missing? I expect that it's changes in biology that we can't envision, even though Ray Kurzweil tries.


 1:51 pm on May 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

It makes me wonder what are we missing?

Reminds me of that Henry Ford quote, 'If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses'.


 3:13 pm on May 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

what are we missing in our vision of the future

Natural selection.

...to take it back to the OP:

My grandkids have never known a world without big flat screen TVs, iPods, iPads, smartphones, PS3, Skype for talking to granny and gramps, etc.


...take them camping -- the real kind, with no electronics, no stored manufactured fuel, only basic necessities and a few small no-voltage forms of entertainment, (deck of cards, pen paper, music instruments, a book or two)...

After a few days, it won's matter if you grew up watching "the t.v." -- when you were luck if you had one in the house -- and it was a b&w console in the living room, or you actually owned a 1980's Casio Color Pocket t.v. -- or were literally born yesterday and your entire life, up to this second is stored in Google's cloud -- camping will make it all meaningless.


 7:19 pm on May 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

Surely I'm not the only person here that still has a dialup connection service as a backup?

We didn't close our diallup Internet service until about 18 months ago. In fact some users are still connected via the service that we migrated them to.


 8:09 pm on May 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

camping will make it all meaningless

As a lifelong mountaineer, rock climber, backpacker, trail runner, former full-time national park ranger, current on-call national park ranger, I am open to that comment.

However, our experience of the wilderness has been profoundly altered by nylon, polyester, synthetic rubber, Gore-tex, sunscreen, mosquito repellent, lightweight backpacking stoves, detailed topo maps, GPS units, SPOT units, etc, etc, etc.

In the 1970s, climbing NEI5 (New England Ice 5, a slightly harder rating than the more modern WI5) was for a handful of top climbers. With current gear, any fit person can toprope NEI5 after a couple of days of climbing.

Few of us experience the wilderness that even someone as recent as John Muir knew without maps, without waterproof clothing or tents or aluminum pots or any of that. Technology changes everything, even the "pristine" camping experience.

The question remains. What will backpackers consider "essential" in 2113. Temperature regulating clothing that absorbs body heat while in motion and releases it during stops when you cool down (it's already here, just not very good) or... and back to my original comment... something we cannot even imagine.


 8:39 pm on May 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

:: racking my brains trying to remember that passage about how a mountain is first climbed by a highly trained, heavily equipped expedition requiring massive experience and preparation, and ten years later grandmothers go bounding to the top for tea ::


 8:53 pm on May 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

I thought that was the other way around ..providing that the Grandmothers were Nepalese Sherpas..


 6:16 am on May 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

Technology changes everything, even the "pristine" camping experience.

I agree, but wonder how pioneers made frozen cocktails without 12v cordless rechargeable blenders.


 6:49 am on May 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

Technology changes things where it is available. Most places I camp technology is a paperweight.

Watch a trout jump in the evening, watch a sunset where you are the only person in hearing distance, walk where nobody has walked for a long time.

I work with technology, there is so much more to life.


 7:27 am on May 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

I once went snow camping with my father and brother. Admittedly it was in California, not Alaska. Sleeping bags, not caribou hides. One night, not eight months. But still. Below freezing outside. Above freezing inside. It really is warm enough.


 10:05 pm on May 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

You really need a full week, (minimum). Thoughts of life beyond the campsite too frequently cross your mind the first couple days...

It takes 48-72 hours for the brain to shift gears -- if you can get away from clocks and calendars, noise pollution, sound pollution, and escape the "always on" e-reality we've created for ourselves, I think it resets the circadian rhythms, ( [nigms.nih.gov...] ).


 11:53 pm on May 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

Oh, our "real" camping trips were always a week. The snow camping was a one-off.

But when you're a child it doesn't take very long to put, uh, real life outside of your mind.


 12:07 am on May 29, 2013 (gmt 0)

I tried explaining what an acoustic coupler was and how it was used to a 17 year old recently, she just looked at me like im mad....

My 2 year old nephew has an Ipad and he is completely at home using it.

Ever tried explaining Baud rate ?


 12:39 am on May 29, 2013 (gmt 0)

I have the sound of a "modem handshake" as the ring tone on one of my mobile phones..

The one that I give as the contact number for my "non private" domains to ICANN..:)

My other phones ..some other time ..but they are more ..artisanal..:)


 1:35 am on May 29, 2013 (gmt 0)

I have the sound of a "modem handshake" as the ring tone on one of my mobile phones..

Lordy. Why not go whole hog and use the sound of a blacksmith's hammer striking the anvil? :)


 1:47 am on May 29, 2013 (gmt 0)

Lordy. Why not go whole hog and use *the sound of a blacksmith's hammer striking the anvil? :)

Close* ..but that* is the ringtone on another of my mobile phones..:)


 7:17 am on May 29, 2013 (gmt 0)

Makes me wonder if you people ever go outside. You know, where there's sun and rain, plants and bugs.

Evidently that doesn't actually happen, but feel free to continue with the major benefits of different ringtones.


 7:55 am on May 29, 2013 (gmt 0)

Hey, I went outside just the other day. I had to, to see how big my wireless router's range is. (Answer: further than I was led to believe, seeing as how I bought the cheapest router I could find.) My downstairs neighbor piggybacks on my internet connection. This, of course, is only about ten feet away in a straight line. It is to my advantage to permit it, because she happens to be my landlady.

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